Seb had a bit of a shock when we went for a picnic a few days ago and on the way back I suddenly exclaimed “Elderflowers!!” before diving into a bush, shouting about champagne and then coming out with some sprigs of white flowers and bouncing up and down. Well, I suppose it’s not that hard to work out what I was getting excited about doing… but probably slightly unusual behaviour nonetheless, even for me.
But despite my antics, there’s no beating about the bush… home-made elderflower champagne has to be one of the most delicious treats of the whole year, and it’s dead easy to make! The only thing I should warn you is to make as much as you possibly can… once it is ready to drink, it won’t last long!
I’m going to share with you my recipe and method, the hardest part of which is waiting the two weeks it takes to be ready to drink (I’m not sure if the technical word is ‘ferment’ as it only becomes about 1-2% alcoholic).
Recipe: Here’s what to do. The first picture shows a bowl in which I have mixed 1 gallon of water, the flowers from 3 elderflower heads (I left them overnight in a tub, and the flowers were much easier to remove), 700g of caster sugar, the juice of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Give it a stir so the sugar dissolves and leave it for 24 hours.
Then strain the mixture (I do it through a sieve and some kitchen roll) and bottle in plastic bottles, leaving a bit of space at the top – when it becomes fizzy it will expand a little. 2 weeks later you have drinkable yumminess! One important thing: once they’re done, make sure you undo the tops and put them back every now and again to release the pressure. Last year I didn’t and I had caps flying across the garage when I opened them!!
Last year this was part of my master plan to have a stall at our local fair, selling it by the glass (I also sold luxurious brownies) … so I’m hoping if my exams are done in time to branch out this year with a few different treats too on sale! Requests considered ^_^ I can’t wait to get baking again soon…